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A whalebone staybusk.

A whalebone staybusk.
Whalebone staybusk.
© National Maritime Museum, London
Repro ID: E2172
Description: A whalebone staybusk, pierced with a hole at the top. These items were used to stiffen the front of a bodice and were popular love tokens. This example is engraved with a dove carrying a letter above crossed olive branches and a British fort. In the centre within a diamond: "THE CYRUS ARRIVED Octr 20th 1833". Lloyd’s List 22 October 1833 records the arrival of this whaler off Gravesend having returned from the South Seas. She was commanded by Captain Hingston and owned by Jarvis & Co at this date. Below the inscription is shown a church and a bird perched on a tree branch. The reverse of the item shows a right whale, hunted by whalers bothe in northern waters and the Pacific. This creature does not have the teeth characteristic of the sperm whale.
Date: 20 October 1833
Credit line: National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory Greenwich New Opportunities Fund  
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